After moving to a new town, it was time to find a new church. Going from church to church, and simply feeling like an outcast who no one cared about I began thinking of some simple ways to make our churches more friendly and welcoming to everyone.
1. If you see someone you don’t know, get to know them. Sounds obvious, right? But I have walked into one church after another and almost no one even said hello. Even when they did it was not in a loving way but they did it in more of a way as if they felt obligated to say hello.
Tip – ask them about churches they have been to in the past, things they like food they like
Tip – do not just talk to them the first day they come and ignore them the next
Tip – Invite them out to eat or to your house.
2.Don’t just tell them where things are show them! If they have children take them to the nursery, and introduce them to the nursery workers. If they just need a seat you can lead them into the sanctuary or the class they need to be in. I have walked into way too many churches where I just got lost. I didn’t know what class I needed to be in and I didn’t know where to take my children. It made me want to just walk out of the church and leave.
3.Have someone outside of the church to help people know where to go. Sometimes when you are going to a new church you do not know what building to walk into. You end up at the children class then you end up walking into service late which when visiting a new church is never fun.
4. Something that God has to be doing in you, love the people who walk in the doors. I can always tell the difference when a church has true love and when they are just trying to increase the number of people who come. Pray that God gives you a love for everyone who walks in the door.
5. I know I said this in the first point, but make sure that you are not just friendly the first time they come. Show them that you actually care by greeting them when they walk in the door and talking to them every day they come. One church I went to the first day everyone was so friendly everyone said hello and talked to me. I decided to go back the next week because everyone was nice. How many people said hello? Not even one!
6. Don’t assume that someone else is going to say hello. When you see someone you don’t know do not leave it up to someone else to talk to them. Go to them hoping that you make a new lifelong friend.
7. Start a class for everyone who is a member of the church teaching them how to respond to new visitors. Sometimes it is not that people do not want to be friendly, they simply do not know how.T
Tip- Assign people to be greeters. I do not mean the people who stand at the door to say hello to everyone, but people in the church who are very good at making people feel welcome have them go talk to people in their seats. They may just talk to one or two people.